Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang calls for 10 percent value-added tax on Amazon and Google

He has told MSNBC that it won't drive these companies out of the United States

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      One of the presidential hopefuls in the crowded Democratic Party field is generating some buzz with ideas not normally promoted by mainstream U.S. politicians.

      Andrew Yang has made the rise of robots in the workplace a cornerstone of his campaign.

      He says that automation has already destroyed more than four million American jobs. And he predicts that millions more will be eliminated in the next five to 10 years.

      So in response, he's proposed a 10 percent value-added tax targeting digital giants like Amazon and Google.

      "Once I understood the magnitude of this problem, and that even our most forward-thinking politicians were not going to take the steps necessary to stem the tide, I had no choice but to act," Yang states on his website. "I’m the father of two young boys. I know the country my sons will grow up in is going to be very different than the one I grew up in, and I want to look back at my life knowing I did everything in my power to create the kind of future our children deserve—an America of opportunity, freedom, equality, and abundance."

      He told MSNBC that the digital giants won't leave America because other countries have value-added taxes with higher rates than what he's suggested.

      Yang has also proposed a universal basic income in response to the rise of automation.

      Yang's "freedom dividend" would give every American $1,000 per month, free and clear.

      You can hear more about this idea in the video below.

      Watch Andrew Yang speak about a universal basic income for all Americans.

      Yang was born in upstate New York as the son of Taiwanese immigrants who met in grad school.

      After studying economics and law, he worked for a while as a corporate lawyer before becoming an entrepreneur.

      He founded Venture for America, which promotes entrepreneurialism in cities facing tough economic times.

      Yang has met the threshold for entering the first Democratic Party presidential debate by raising 65,000 donations, with at least 200 donations from 20 different states.